Friday, June 4, 2010
Cooking takes up a lot of time. Not just the preparation and the actual selection of ingredients. Figuring out what to cook takes a lot of energy too.
When women talk, they will invariably describe the meal they cooked or the meal they were served. We are constantly preoccupied with what to serve, how to shop, when to shop, how much time and energy all this will take from our lives. Discovering an easy to prepare nutritious meal, something that will satisfy everyone at home, this discovery will make our day.
When I was a working mom, a teacher/administrator for forty years, and had to hustle to get to work and avoid freeway troubles, being organized and prepared for all eventualities, cooking a meal every evening was a big chore. I could barely stand at the end of the day.
Fortunately for me, I had learned to create simple meals that were nutritious and delicious, as the minestrone that can be made ahead, and can be frozen for future meals. If you enjoy these cook ahead recipes, I will add a few more in the future.
Ingredients for four servings:
2 cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (White Navy beans will work as well)
1 can of stewed tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
1C chicken stock
2 cloves of garlic, mashed
2 T olive oil
2T chopped parsley, or basil
2T grated parmesan cheese
1C chopped cabbage
1C diced carrots
1C diced celery
The entire process will take you ten minutes. The meal will be ready in twenty.
In a deep pot, saute' the garlic in olive oil, add the carrots and celery and saute' until soft.
Add the drained tomatoes. Cook, at medium heat, breaking up the tomatoes for a few minutes. Add the liquid from the tomatoes and the chicken stock. Add the beans, the cabbage and the parsley. Reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are soft enough to your liking.
Serve in a soup bowl with parmesan cheese and chunky bread.
Freeze any leftovers.
Note: my mother would have cooked the beans from scratch, and added potatoes and ditalini pasta as well. But then, she had all day to get this to the table.